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A 'pesto' to take advantage of carrot leaves

2024-02-22T04:22:20.025Z

Highlights: A 'pesto' to take advantage of carrot leaves. By freely adapting the technique of a traditional pesto, you can use the part of this vegetable that is usually thrown away to add extra flavor to your dishes and avoid food waste. For about 175 grams The leaves of a bunch of fresh carrots 75 grams of peeled pistachios (or almonds) 50 grams of Grana Padano cheese 25 grams of green curry paste (or a jalapeño or a few peppers) Extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic Salt (optional)


By freely adapting the technique of a traditional pesto, you can use the part of this vegetable that is usually thrown away to add extra flavor to your dishes and avoid food waste.


For years I wondered why they sometimes sell bunches of carrots with leaves, when when we get home most of us discard the green part and focus on the roots.

It is done to demonstrate their freshness, now I know, and to differentiate them, at least in appearance, from the intensively produced ones that come clean of leaves and usually bagged.

It seemed like food waste to me, although on occasion I had heard more or less vague ideas about its supposed toxicity;

until I started reading about it and discovered that not only were they edible but they were also very good.

Today we use them to make a tasty mash.

The title talks about a pesto, I know, but don't take it literally: you can understand this recipe as such because it shares some ingredients and a general method of preparation, although there are also important differences.

Think of it, rather, as one more component of that great family of pastas characteristic of southern European cuisines in which an aromatic vegetable element is combined with nuts, oil, to which in some cases is added garlic and sometimes some cheese to give rise to dozens of variations.

We are talking about pestos, yes, but also Provençal

pistou

, the herbal floor of southern Portugal or, if you hurry me, even a romesco.

Why are carrot leaves reputed to be toxic if they are not?

Perhaps because they have a relatively high amount of alkaloids, compounds that can be toxic but are present in many of our daily foods and that does not mean we stop consuming them.

This is the case of caffeine, theobromine from cocoa or solanine found in potatoes or tomatoes.

Even nicotine, another alkaloid, appears in significant quantities when analyzing vegetables such as cauliflower or, especially, eggplant.

There is another reason why popular wisdom has chosen, when in doubt, to discard this ingredient: carrot leaves, especially wild ones, have an important resemblance to the leaves of species such as hemlock (Conium

maculatum

) or the so-called Devil's Celery (

Oenanthe crocata

), very toxic.

So, when in doubt, they simply did not consume it, to avoid scares.

As a general rule, that's still a good policy: if during a walk in the countryside you see some leaves that look like carrots, even if they smell like carrots, and you're tempted to pick them for consumption, don't do it. unless you are absolutely certain that you are not picking the wrong species (as you would with a mushroom).

Returning to our harmless bunch of cultivated carrot leaves purchased at the supermarket, the greengrocer or the market in your town, the question remains.

What can you do with them?

Many things: a couple of well-chopped branches can be a very pleasant complement to a salad or, right after taking it off the heat, while it rests, for rice.

They are also an interesting addition in the preparation of broths, sauces, vegetable creams, soups or omelettes, to which they provide a very appetizing freshness, to give a burst of flavor to some roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, to a chickpea salad or to spread on a slice of freshly toasted bread, since with the heat its fats melt slightly and its aroma multiplies.

Time:

15 minutes

Difficulty:

If you are able not to beat your fingers with the mini mixer, you can prepare it without suffering damage in the process

Ingredients

For about 175 grams

  • The leaves of a bunch of fresh carrots

  • 75 grams of peeled pistachios (or almonds)

  • 50 grams of Grana Padano cheese

  • 25 grams of green curry paste (or a jalapeño or a few peppers)

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Salt (optional)

Instructions

If you have questions or complaints about our recipes, write to us at

elcomidista@gmail.com

.

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Source: elparis

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